Saturday, November 23, 2013

Summer fun

       This is a quick non BBQ, but still outdoor related post. This is another post I wanted to get done this summer. We had a busy summer and had fun outside. We found a play grill on sale for our daughter. She loved playing with it and grilled lots of pretend food for us. 
       We also bought a fire pit. We had several fires in it. Each time we cooked dinner with it. We roasted hot dogs one time. Isabella loved that part. Another time, I cooked hobo stew in the coals. I put pork cutlets, onion, carrots, and potatoes with a little seasoning in foil packets. They cooked for about an hour. We ate them on the porch. Here are few pictures of our times. 

Hamburger or hot dog?

How's the food coming?
Taste Test
Got to wash my hands! There is a pretend sink on the other side.
Roasting hot dogs over the fire
   I hope you enjoyed the peek at some of our summer fun. Now that winter is almost here do you have plans started for next summer? Have a good week and happy grillin'.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

French Toast and Sausage On the Grill

     I hope everybody is doing well. This is a post that was supposed to be done this summer. Due to a heavy work schedule it didn't and I just found the pictures the other day. I whipped up a big batch of French toast for dinner one night when my mom was visiting from Oregon.  We also had blueberry birch syrup flavored sausages from a local butcher.  Making french toast on the grill is one of my new favorite ways to do it. I did a previous post about it where I did it directly on the grates. That was a little messy though. You can see that post here.
        This time I put my griddle on the grill and used that. My griddle is a Lodge cast iron double sided griddle. It works great on the grill or the stove. You can get your own from Amazon here. I made the egg mixture ahead of time. Everybody has their own favorite recipe for French toast, so just use your own recipe. Then when it was time for dinner, I preheated my griddle on medium heat. Working in batches, I dipped the bread then let it sit to drip and soak on a wire rack for a minute. I took them out to the grill and put them on the heated griddle. After a few minutes and the lid closed, I flipped them over. I alternated between lid open and closed to regulate the heat. If it was cold out, I would have kept the lid closed almost the whole time.  While the toast was grilling, I direct grilled the sausages.  The French toast and sausages were really good. The sausages had an incredible flavor. 

MMmm, looking good!

    French toast is not the only breakfast food you can do on the grill. With the right tools almost any breakfast food could be done on the grill. What is your favorite breakfast food to do on the grill? Have a great week and happy grillin'.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

This is a non BBQ recipe post. The other night I made what we are calling "Mexican lasagna." It came out really good and so I decided to share it with you. It was even good reheated a few nights later. Sorry the pictures are lame, I forgot to take a picture till it was almost gone. I came up with the recipe off the top of my head and some of the measurements may not be exact but are approximates. Feel free to substitute ground beef for the ground turkey. We have a beef allergy in our house, so ground turkey is our go to substitute. 

Mexican Lasagna

6 flour tortillas (We used whole wheat)
1 can refried beans
1 large can diced green chilies
1 pound ground turkey
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup salsa (divided)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 to 2 cups shredded cheese (depends on how much cheese you want)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook ground turkey and add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning to meat.
  3. In a 13x9 pan add 1/2 cup of salsa and spread to cover the bottom.
  4. Place 2 of the tortillas on the salsa.
  5. Mix the refried beans, green chilies (drain the chilies if you don't want as much heat), and 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning. Add the mix to the pan and spread to coat the tortillas.
  6. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top.
  7. Layer in 2 more tortillas.
  8. Next mix sour cream with cooked turkey meat and taco seasoning. Spread the mixture on top of the last layer.
  9. Top with 2 more tortillas, then the rest of the salsa and a nice coat of shredded cheese.
  10. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until it is bubbling and the cheese is nicely browned.
  11. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. It will firm up a little.
  12. Refrigerate any leftovers in the pan. To reheat, place in the oven covered with foil for about 20 until warmed through.

MMM, Yummy! 
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did. Please pin it to Pinterest or share on Facebook. I also made it so you can just print the recipe. Just click where it says printable recipe here. Have a great week and happy grillin'.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stuffed Smoked Pork Loin

    I hope everybody is doing well. I possibly have an extended time off from work. So, I am going to try and get caught up on all the blogs I have been meaning to get out. I have multiple recipes to post. I am also going to be trying a few new things to make recipes easier. I think you will notice the picture clarity is better too. I got a new phone over the summer that has a way better camera than my previous one. As always feel free to comment and share my blog with others. The recipe today is one that came out really good. I had been wanting to make a stuffed pork loin for a while and I finally made one not that long ago. 

 Smoked Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork loin
apple cider
salt and pepper
garlic powder
sweet onion
garlic cloves
apple cider vinegar (or more apple cider/ apple juice)  for spritzing

  1.  Trim any silver skin from pork loin and butterfly loin.
  2. Inject pork loin with a mixture of apple cider, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Save any leftover injection.
  3. Salt and pepper the inside of the pork loin.
  4. Stuff inside with sliced onion and cut garlic cloves.
  5. Tie the loin together with butchers string.
  6. Rub outside of loin with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  7. Put loin in a metal or foil pan.
  8. Add sliced carrots, onion, and diced apple to the pan around the loin.
  9. Drizzle olive oil and leftover injection on the veggies.
  10. Tent with foil and poke a few holes in the top of the foil to vent it.   
  11. Smoke the pork at 300 degrees indirect heat until it reaches 165 internal temp. It took about an hour and a half for mine to reach temp. I used alder with a little apple wood as my wood. I also had a few hickory briquettes mixed in.
  12. Spritz meat and veggies a few times with apple cider vinegar or apple juice.
  13. Remove the meat from the pan and let rest.
  14. Spread the veggies out in the pan and roast over direct heat for an extra 15 minutes.
  15. Remove the string and slice the pork before serving.

Pork on the grill

Nice view of pork cooking

Veggies all done.
Pork up close after slicing
The pork was super moist and very flavorful. The veggies had an incredible smokey flavor to them. We really enjoyed it. Have a good week and happy grillin'. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Grilled Fruit Crisp!

I hope everybody is doing well. I want to apologize for not getting any blogs out all summer. My work as an aircraft mechanic has kept me busy with lots of overtime. Also we have been busy enjoying the summer in Alaska. I will try to catch you up on some of the things I did this summer in another blog. I am going to give you a recipe for a crisp that I made up. I used peaches, nectarines, and pears, but feel free to try other fruits as well. All measurements are approximates, so sorry if you like to be exact.

for the filling:
cut up 3 peaches, 1 pear and one nectarine
mix in:
 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
juice and zest of 1 lemon
splash of vanilla extract (or about a couple teaspoons)
a few shakes of cinnamon (or about 1 teaspoon)
a sprinkle of old fashioned oats

1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon flour
Set aside:
2 tablespoons of butter thinly sliced

To assemble:
Prep the filling
Prep the topping
Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a cast iron skillet
Add the filling
sprinkle with topping
add the sliced butter cut earlier on top
indirect grill at about 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
(Note: you could also cook it at 350 for the same amount of time in your oven)

Crisp cooking on the grill. I had some alder wood in my smoker box,
We loved the crisp. I have made it twice now and have added it to my favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy it. I have other fun recipes to share with you from the summer too, so look forward to more blogs soon. Have a great time till next time and happy grillin'.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Caribou steak and Pork Country Ribs!

I hope everybody is having a good week. I had a long work week last week. I ended up working part of Saturday. Saturday afternoon, I rushed home after working in the morning. Stacy had to go work a Pampered Chef show, so I made dinner for Isabella and I. We had things that Stacy doesn't like very well, since she wasn't going to eat with us. We had grilled caribou steaks, yams, and Brussel sprouts. I made everything on the grill.
    For the caribou steak, I put some Worcestershire sauce on it and rubbed it with Pampered Chef's new Tex-Mex Rub. I grilled the steaks over medium high heat for about 15 minutes until they were about 160 internal temp. I might have over cooked them a little, but since it was wild game, I wanted to make sure it was done. I also grilled some yams over medium heat. I microwaved mine for 2 minutes before I put it on the grill since it was so big. I grilled the yams for about 20 minutes until they were soft and cut them open. I buttered them and sprinkled brown sugar on top. The yams stayed on the grill for a few more minutes to melt the sugar a little. To grill the Brussel sprouts, I tossed partially thawed sprouts with olive oil and Pampered Chef Three Onion Rub. I grilled them in the basket for my Char-broil Grill Top Infuser. I tossed them several times as I grilled them over medium heat. I took them off when I took the yams off and they were golden and some had a slight char.  Everything turned out good. The caribou was a little tough, but had a nice flavor. The rub was both sweet and spicy. The yams were really good as were the sprouts.

Caribou steaks, yams and sprouts glistening in the sun on the grill!

Yams all sugared and about to come off the grill.

The finished product. (Isabella makes me use one of her princess place-mats)
    Sunday for dinner, I smoked bone-in pork country style ribs, corn, and potatoes. I seasoned the ribs on all sides with Big Butz BBQ Pig Pollen rub and let the flavors meld in the fridge for a couple hours. When the the time came, I set my charcoal grill up for 2 zone grilling. I piled some coals on each side then added lit coals to each side. In the middle, I put a pan of water to separate the 2 piles. To each pile I added a chunk of cherry wood.  Once the wood was smoking nicely, I added the pork to the middle. I put the potatoes on one side and the corn on the other. For the potatoes, I used the Pampered Chef BBQ Vegetable Rack. For the corn, I used the Pampered Chef  BBQ Corn and Skewer Rack. After the first 20 minutes, I started spritzing the ribs with apple cider vinegar to keep them moist every 20 minutes or so. I smoked the corn and potatoes for an hour. I rotated the corn a few times whenever I spritzed the ribs. Just before I took the corn off, I brushed it with a mixture of melted butter and Pampered Chef Tex-Mex Rub. I smoked the corn so long because it was still frozen a little. I had vacuum sealed fresh corn and froze it when it was on sale at some point. When the ribs were almost done I sauced them with Big Butz Cranberry BBQ Sauce. I sauced them on each side and let the sauce set for about 10 minutes before I took them off. The pork was on the grill at 300 degrees for about an hour and a half.
      Dinner was great. The ribs had a great flavor and nice smokiness. They each had a beautiful smoke ring. The sauce was sweet with a slight spice to it.The corn was tasty. It had a subtle smoke flavor and the rub was really good on it. We had the potatoes with  chive flavored sour cream and butter. They also had a great smoke flavor to them.

Potatoes, ribs, and corn ready to smoke.

Ribs shining before I remove them.

Ribs, corn and potatoes ready to eat.

Nailed the smoke ring!

      I have started watching the show "BBQ Pitmasters". I found past episodes online for free and am now on season 3. If you like BBQ and food competitions then I highly recommend this show. I have learned some tips from watching it. I started spritzing my ribs because of the show.
     There was no winner to my giveaway since no one entered. I will try again some other time. I always appreciate comments about my blog. Please continue to share it with your friends and help me grow my audience.  Speaking of giveaway check out another blog that I follow. Grill Grrl is doing a big giveaway! She always has good recipes on her site too.  Have a great week and happy grillin'.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Asian Style Pork Chops and Faux Crab Stuffed Peppers!

I hope everybody had a good week. I was able to grill twice last weekend. As a reminder, I still have a giveaway going. Just go to the post Blog Anniversary and Giveaway and leave a comment. It is as easy as that.
  We bought some pork chops on Saturday and Jasmine rice, so I decided to make an Asian style pork chop. We were out of an already made marinade, so I found one on Pinterest that had ingredients we already had in it. The recipe is super easy. All you have to do is combine soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, ground ginger, olive oil, and minced garlic together in a ziploc bag. I used bone in pork chops and marinaded them in the bag for about 2 hours. Make sure to mix them in the bag a few times while they are marinading. That helps to keep the pork evenly coated. I grilled the pork over medium heat for about 15 minutes or so. We ate them with the Jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. The pork had a great flavor. The meat was moist and had the taste I was going for. We will be keeping the marinade recipe around.

Asian chops, Jasmine rice and broccoli

    Sunday, we wanted something with for potatoes dinner. I looked in the freezer and found we had a package of imitation crab chunks and knew we had red bell peppers. I decided to make crab stuffed peppers. For the stuffing I mixed the crab chunks, about 4 ounces of  softened cream cheese, about a cup of Italian bread crumbs, a quarter of an onion minced, and a few squirts of Dijon mustard. I mixed it all together and stuffed what I could into 4 red bell pepper halves. I had some extra that I put in a ziploc bag and froze. I then grated some Parmesan cheese on top of each one. I direct grilled them over medium heat  sitting on the Pampered Chef BBQ Vegetable Rack for about 20 minutes. I just sat them on the rack and didn't poke them on. The imitation crab was already cooked so all I had to do was let the flavors meld and cook the onion. They came out super good. Next time, I think I will add a little salt and pepper and maybe a little Old Bay style seasoning. They were great for just making up the recipe.

Peppers on the grill

     Along with the peppers I also made fries with red potatoes. All I did was cut them in wedges. Then I seasoned them with olive oil and Pampered Chef Garlic and Herb Rub. I grilled them over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes on my Pampered Chef BBQ Roasting  pan. As a dipping sauce, I mixed mayo and Sweet Baby Ray's together.

Imitation crab stuffed peppers, fries, and dipping sauce
I hope everybody has a good rest of their week. Happy grillin'.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Churro Style Grilled Pineapple!

I hope everybody is having a good week. If you haven't already, check out my special blog post Blog Anniversary and GIVEAWAY. The giveaway ends April 21. I grilled both Saturday and Sunday last weekend, even though we were busy with errands and house projects.
    Saturday for dinner, I grilled some mild Italian brats over medium heat until they were golden brown. We then cut them up and mixed them with sauteed onions and spaghetti sauce. Also, to the sauce we mixed in some cheddar and Parmesan cheese. We tossed it with noodles and had a nice pasta dish.

Yummy Brats!

Pasta dish

  The highlight of the meal was the pineapple I grilled. To prep the pineapple, I cored it and cut it in thick strips. Then, I mixed about 1/4 cup sugar and at least a teaspoon of cinnamon together on a plate. I rolled each piece of pineapple in the cinnamon sugar mixture. I grilled the pineapple over medium heat until the sugar was lightly caramelized. Total time on the grill was about 8-10 minutes turning half way through. It was super good. We dipped some of it in vanilla pudding. Isabella ate 1 and a half, Stacy 2 and I ate the rest. They were that good.

Churro Style Pineapple

      Sunday, we went to the local home show and ran a few errands. I grilled pork chops and grapefruit for dinner. I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper, and Pampered Chef Maple Herb Rub. I grilled them over medium high for about 15-20 minutes turning them half way through. I let them rest for 5 minutes before we ate them with some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. We also had mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. The pork had a great flavor to it. I did the grapefruit like I did a few weeks ago. I cut it in half and ran a knife around it to loosen the segments. Then I sprinkled it with sugar and coconut and grilled over medium for about 20 minutes. The coconut was slightly toasted by this time. It was warm, tangy, with a hint of sweet goodness.

Pork, broccoli, mashed taters and Sweet Baby Ray

Grilled Grapefruit
   As part of the weekends projects, I fixed an issue with our dryer. I also took apart the dryer venting and cleaned all the lint out. Our dryer had been slow drying and I found big clumps of lint partially blocking the vents. We have lived in our house almost 3 years and never cleaned the vents. Our dyer works and dries so much better now. I highly recommend cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year. I will definitely be adding it to my yearly house maintenance tasks.  I hope everybody has a good week and happy grillin'.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blog Anniversary and GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the one year anniversary for JustPlaneBBQ. I hope everybody is having a good week. A lot has happened this past year. I am going to look back a little on the last year and let you know about a few new things. Also, I will be announcing my first giveaway!
    I'll give you some stats to begin with.I grilled at least once a week, but usually more. Multiple bags of Kingsford briquettes were used and many trips to fill the propane tanks were made.  I posted 51 times and had over 760 views.

 My top 3 posts are:

1. Char-broil Grill Top Infuser First Grill with over 61 views.

2. Schitzel with over 23 views.

3. Char-grilled Meatball Sandwiches with 22 views.

    In my quest to gain more readers, I have joined Pinterest and post blog highlights there. Find me on Pinterest. I will be adding a follow button to the blog soon. I also now have a Facebook page for Justplanebbq.  Here is the link. Go like my page if you haven't already. I will be trying to post BBQ and grilling related things there on a regular basis.

I would like to hear from you about what you enjoyed about the blog this year. To help encourage you to do that, I have decided to do a giveaway. I will be giving away a local Alaska BBQ sauce and a Pampered Chef Rub of my choosing.
Entry and Rules:

  1. Leave a comment below with what you learned this year, your favorite recipe/post I did, or any other memory of the year relating to my blog.
  2. An additional entry will be earned by liking my Facebook page. Please leave a separate comment saying you like my page.
  3. This contest is only open to residents of the 50 states of America. 
  4. I will be picking the winner randomly.
  5. Contest runs until the 21st of April.

I hope you enjoyed this look back. I will be doing a regular grilling post later on in the week. Good luck and happy grillin'.

There was no winner since no one entered. I will try again soon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Smoked Duck!

I hope everybody had a good week. Sunday was not only Easter, but it also was my birthday. We made my birthday dinner on Saturday, since Sunday was going to be busy with Easter. I had been wanting to try and smoke a duck for a while, so I figured my birthday was as good as a time as any.
        First, off we bought the duck that morning. I thought that the store had fresh duck, but they were frozen. As soon as we got home, I threw the duck still in its package in a bowl of cold water. Later, I let water run over it for a bit. It was still frozen in the middle when I prepped it several hours later. To prep it, I removed the neck and innards before cutting the breast bone and laying it flat. Then, I scored the skin to let some of the fat render out. I seasoned the whole thing with salt, pepper, Pampered Chef Bell Pepper Rub, and a little sesame oil. For the grill, I heated up some briquettes in my chimney starter and poured them over a small pile of unlit briquettes on each side of the grill. In the center between the two piles, I had a pan of water.  I then mixed up a special concoction to put in my smoker box. I mixed brown rice, a little brown sugar, 3 green tea bags using just the tea not the bags, a crunched up cinnamon stick, bay leaf, a few whole cloves, and 5 alder wood chips. I stirred everything together and put it in my smoker box over one set of coals. On the other set of coals, I put the bottom rind of a pineapple. When everything was starting to smoke, I put the duck skin side up over the water pan. I smoked it for over 2 hours at 300 till it reached 165 internal temp. I had a hard time getting an accurate read with my remote thermometer probe, so I checked it with my instant read thermometer when I thought it looked done and it was. We let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Smoking mixture

Smoked duck

       To go with the duck, I grilled some broccoli. I chopped the broccoli and put it in foil. To season it, I added salt, pepper, and a little of the bell pepper rub. I put the packet on the propane side of the grill for 10 to 15 minutes while I was heating it up to grill pineapple. When the broccoli was done, I opened the packet and sprinkled a handful of grated cheese on it. I closed the packet back up and let the heat of everything melt the cheese.
      Like I said a minute ago, I also grilled some pineapple. I got the grilled pineapple recipe from a pin on Pinterest that Stacy pinned. It was super easy. I shook the pineapple in sugar and lemon zest and grilled till it was caramelized.
Grilled pineapple

   Stacy made brown rice and I also made sweet and sour sauce. The sweet and sour sauce recipe was also from Pinterest. I modified it only slightly. Instead of all the water that the recipe called for, I substituted pineapple juice and enough water to make 2/3 cup. I saved the juice from the pineapple when I cut it and squeezed some from the rind also.
Dinner upclose

Whole dinner
     The whole dinner was super delicious. The duck had a great flavor with a slight smokiness to it. Even Stacy liked it and she had been very skeptical of it before. The broccoli had a good flavor also. The sweet and sour sauce was amazing. It was better than store bought. We will definitely be making this sauce again. We love grilled pineapple at our house and it was no exception this time either. I mixed the leftover duck, rice, and sauce together and had it for dinner at work this week. I don't have a picture of the pie that Stacy made, but it was awesome. It was one of the best strawberry rhubarb pies that I've ever had.
      Sunday was Easter. In the morning we got up to find that the Easter bunny had visited. Isabella was super excited and had lots of fun. Isabella had fun Saturday night helping us decorate eggs. We had some of our colored eggs for breakfast. We went to Stacy's parents house and had a good Easter lunch.
Isabella's Easter basket

Eggs we decorated.
I hope everybody has a good rest of their week. By the time you get this post it will be the one year anniversary of JustPlaneBBQ. I will be doing a special post looking back on the year this weekend. Look forward to that and more. Happy grillin'.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Smoke Roasted Goodness!

This post is what I grilled the weekend of March 23rd. Last week at work was super busy and I worked for both companies every night almost. This weekend was my birthday and we had a lot going on. I hope everybody had a good week though. That Saturday, I made dinner for Isabella and I since Stacy had a Pampered Chef party. I had things that I didn't have to keep checking on. I decided to smoke roast everything on the propane side of my grill. Smoke roasting is a technique where you grill food at a higher temp than smoking and usually for a shorter period of time. Everything was done with the grill at medium high which was 400  to 450 degrees on my grill.
     For the meat, I made pork chops in my grill top infuser. I lined the infuser with foil and added a handful of apple wood chips to the bottom. Then, I added the rack and pork chops. The chops were seasoned with apple wood rub, salt, and pepper. The lid went on and I left them on the grill for about 45 minutes.
Pork Chops

   With the meat, I also put on some cabbage.The idea for this recipe came from a Facebook post that Steven Raichlen did with just a short description. He didn't have the full recipe on there, so I just took the idea and ran with it.  I lined a small square pan with foil and cut the core out of the cabbage. I put the cabbage in the pan with the bottom open end facing up. I seasoned the cabbage with salt, pepper, and apple wood rub. Next, I sauteed chopped onion in butter with apple wood rub. When the onions were almost done, I added some chopped cooked bacon to the onions. You certainly could cut raw bacon in pieces and saute the bacon and onion together, but I only had cooked bacon at the time. The onion and bacon mixture then was poured into the open part of the cabbage. The whole thing went on the grill with additional apple wood chips in my smoker box. I put the cabbage over my unlit center burner. I left it on the grill for almost an hour.

   For dessert, I also smoke roasted a grapefruit. To prep the grapefruit, I cut it in half and ran a knife around it to separate the segments. I sprinkled some sugar and coconut on top and put it on the grill with foil underneath to catch any leakage. I grilled it for about 25 minutes or so. As a kid growing up we used to make grapefruit that way under the broiler in the oven. 
Smoked Grapefruit

  I also made cheesy rice with some left over rice. I reheated the rice in the microwave with some butter to help it not be so dry. Then I melted some cheese in it and salt and peppered it. Lastly, I mixed a heaping spoonful of sour cream in it.
Everything on the grill. ( The lid was on infuser while cooking, I took it off for the pic.)

Everything plated!

    The whole dinner came out really good. We ate the pork with a little bit of bbq sauce. The cabbage was slightly crunchy in a few spots, but had a great flavor. The bacon  and onion complemented it well. Isabella ate all her cabbage and rice. She normally doesn't eat rice very well but devoured it this time. The cheesiness helped I think. The grapefruit was good. It had a nice sweetness to it.
   I hope everybody has a good week. I smoked a duck for my birthday dinner and will share it with you in my next post.  I am going to try to get my next post up soon. Until next time, happy grillin'.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Smoked Corned Beef!

    I hope everybody had a good week. It is hard to believe that we are already halfway though March. Stacy had a Pampered Chef party Saturday night that she had to work, so I watched Isabella. While Isabella took her nap, I made crepes'. I used a simple recipe from Melissa d'Arabian of the Food Network. I just used the  crepe' part of the recipe and also didn't add the lemon zest. I also had to add a little more milk to make them spread in the pan easier. I cooked them all at nap time and put them in the fridge till dinner. I sprinkled cheese in a few of them and microwaved until the cheese melted. In one crepe' I put a filling of strawberries, whipped topping, and lemon curd that Stacy had left us. I also had a couple with jam and whipped topping. The crepes' were good with either a sweet or savory filling.
    Sunday was St. Patrick's day, so for dinner I smoked a corned beef and potatoes. Stacy made cabbage and onions. To prep the beef, I soaked it in ice water for two hours and changed the water after an hour. Soaking the beef helps draw out some of the excess salt. If you made your own corned beef you can skip this step. I put it in a shallow pan with the beef fat side up and peppered it. If you like the seasoning packet that comes with the meat you can use that as a rub. Stacy doesn't like it so I was stuck not using it. I set my charcoal grill up for indirect grilling and added a couple cherry wood pieces to get the smoke going. When the grill was warm and smoking nicely, I added the beef and some potatoes on a Pampered Chef  BBQ Vegetable Rack.
        I then smoked everything for two hours at 350 degrees until the meat was 165 internally. The meat had a nice crust. I covered it loosely with foil and let it rest for over half an hour. You only need to rest it 20 minutes, but it was done too early to eat dinner. The meat came out really good and had a very nice smokey flavor throughout. It also had a nice outer crust. I did find later when I was eating the leftovers that if I ate the fat it was too smokey. The meat itself was great. The potatoes were maybe a little too done, but were still good. Stacy made boiled cabbage and onions to go with it. Overall it was a nice St. Patrick's day treat. Isabella even let us eat our meat and didn't throw a fit that she couldn't have any since she is allergic to beef.

Smoked corned beef and taters.

MMM, Beef!
I hope everybody has a good week. I have some fun stuff coming for next week. I was hoping to get this post out sooner, but worked late almost all week. Happy grillin'!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Smoked Brats!

I hope everybody had a good week. We had a busy weekend of errands, celebrating Stacy's birthday early and family. Saturday night, I grilled dinner. I smoked some brats and carrots in my Char-Broil Grill Top Infuser.
   To start, I lined the bottom of the infuser with foil. I had read some reviews from people suggesting that this makes cleanup easier. Then, I sprinkled some apple wood chips in and put the basket in. Next, I put sliced carrots in with salt and pepper. I put the rack and lid on and put it on a hot grill. I let the chips start smoking before I added the brats. I let the brats smoke for about 20 minutes before turning them over. I smoked them for another 25 minutes. I like my brats to be golden brown, so I put them on the grill at medium heat for a few minutes. I watched them closely and moved them off the heat if they flared up. We dipped them in bbq sauce and had buttered noodles with it. The brats were good. The carrots were a little crunchy still, but had a great flavor. For dessert, I made a chocolate chip skillet cookie. I made the cookie instead of a cake for Stacy's birthday. I didn't get a picture of it this time, but if you back to my blog post fire there is a picture there. We like the skillet cookie. It is a nice thick yummy cookie.

Brats and carrots in the infuser.

Yummy dinner

Isabella goofing off with a hat from Grandmama. (She did that herself to her shirt.)

        On Sunday, we had a nice lunch of chili pepper chicken strips at Stacy's parent's house. The strips are one of our favorite things that her mom makes. Maybe some day we will get the recipe.
        I have started volunteering my time on Thursday nights to the Talkeetna Build A Plane Project. This is a project where kids take an airplane and rebuild it. They are taught and tested on the basic skills of aircraft mechanics. They keep track of their hours and when they have enough and turn 18 they can take their tests to be an aircraft mechanic. They also earn an hour of flight instruction for every so many hours of work. I supervise to make sure the plane is airworthy when it is done and answer questions about things. It is a cool way to give back to the community and have an affect on the future of aviation. It also is fun to see and hear how many of the kids want to be aircraft mechanics.
      I hope everybody has a good week. This weekend is St. Patrick's day. I will be smoking a corned beef. Until next time, happy grilling.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I hope everybody had a good week. I cooked breakfast and lunch a few times last weekend and grilled once. Saturday was Dr. Seuss's birthday. To celebrate, I made green eggs and ham. To make the eggs green, I added 3 drops of green food coloring to the eggs. Then, I scrambled them with salt and pepper before cooking. I also added some chopped green onion. In another pan, I heated up some smoked ham slices leftover from smoked ham on Christmas. It was a nice and fun start to the day. Isabella and I also read several Seuss books together.
Green eggs and ham.

      For dinner, I reheated the leftover smokey red pepper ribs I smoked with cherry wood in Ribs Two Ways. To start with, the ribs were thawed overnight in the fridge. Next, I opened up the foil and brushed bbq sauce on both sides of the ribs. The ribs went on a medium heat grill with foil loosely wrapped around them for about 20 to 30 minutes. I added more sauce a couple times. I took the ribs off when they were nice and steaming hot. One set got a little charred on the bottom, so make sure the heat isn't too hot or the foil too thin. The ribs turned out great. They were literally finger licking good. The sauce helped keep them from drying out as they were reheated. Also there was no telling that they had been frozen for several months. I encourage you to make extra ribs and freeze them for later. I also made a macaroni salad with frozen fire roasted peppers. I just take the block of peppers out of the freezer and cut off what I need and put the rest back. The peppers thaw quickly in the salad and add a great flavor. They taste like and better than the peppers in store bought macaroni salad.

Look and that smokey goodness.

  That's it for this week. Not sure what will be on the grill this weekend. Have a great week and happy grillin'.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chops and Cheeks!

I hope everybody had a good week. Things are slowly starting to get busier again. Spring will be here soon! I had a really good pulled pork sandwich last week. We had  engine rep up helping us with an issue on one of our planes engines. He took me out to lunch a couple times. One of those times we went to Twister Creek Restaurant in Talkeetna. I work in Talkeetna for those who are new to my blog. I had the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries. It was a really good sandwich with coleslaw on it. They make their own sauce using one of the beers that they brew there. I had never had a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw on it before. The slaw added a nice crunch to everything. I don't think they smoke their pork, but it still was super flavorful. Their sweet potato fries are big, crispy, and delicious. I forgot to take a picture of it though.
     I grilled dinner Saturday night. I made pork chops, grilled potato slices, and veggies. For the pork chops, I rubbed them with smokey applewood rub, salt, and pepper. I grilled the pork chops over medium high heat and turned them 90 degrees after about five minutes. I flipped them about 3 minutes later and basted them with BBQ sauce. After they had grilled for a few minutes, I turned them 90 degrees again and grilled them for about 6 minutes total on that side. I then flipped them over and brushed sauce on the other side. I then grilled them for about a minute on each side to caramelize the sauce a little.  We let them rest for about 5 minutes before eating.
   To make the potatoes, I cut several potatoes into slices lengthwise. Next the slices were tossed with olive oil, a garlic herb rub, salt, and pepper. I arranged the slices on the grill at a slightly lower temp than the pork. I rotated and turned the potatoes multiple times to prevent burning. I grilled them till the outside was golden brown and they had nice grill marks. The pork came out good. We ate it with a bit more sauce for dipping. We like anything paired with sauce. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Everything turned out well.

BBQ sauced chops, grilled potatoes and veggies.

Potatoes. Look at those grill marks.

    For Sunday dinner, I was going to grill some halibut cheeks, but Stacy suggested that I just pan fry them. I  rinsed and dried the cheeks. Then sprinkled both sides with lemon pepper, Old Bay, and salt. Each cheek was rolled in corn meal before being added to the pan. I had just a small amount of oil in the pan. The cheeks were cooked until they turned white and were flaky. I also steamed some carrots in the microwave with butter, salt, and pepper. The fish was tasty. Next time, I need to do it outside or use my cast iron skillet.  The house was a little too smokey afterwards. I also forgot to get a picture of them. I hope everybody has a good week. Happy grillin'.